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Fellowship Cardiology, Pakistani Doctor

Since September 11 of 2001, Pakistan has increasingly become part of American news. As a Pakistani physician now living in America, my own life has been intricately involved with the dynamics of this relationship. Many times, I feel as if I am an Ambassador of Pakistan to the American medical community. And I very much enjoy the role. It is a great responsibility and a great privilege. Just as most Americans of all types of backgrounds, I savor diversity as the spice of life and take delight in the challenge of multilingual and multicultural communication.

My long-term fascination with the heart drew me to pursue an internship in cardiology after completing medical school in my native Pakistan. One very special moment during this period was when my mentor Dr. XXXX, a Cardiologist, asked me during my rotation: "Asif, how come you are so good at reading EKG's when it is only the beginning of your internship." Overwhelmed with joy, I told him that, while I still have so very much to learn, I think that my solid foundations in applied physics and cardiovascular physiology are of enormous value. Dr. Lipton, along with the entire cardiology faculty, encouraged me to pursue a career in this specialty as they were monitoring my progress through the electives and various coronary care rotations.

I feel strongly that it is our teamwork that is our greatest asset in cardiology. For the past ten years I have worked with teams of leading physicians. Together, we have strived for excellence in the treatment of more than a thousand patients. I think each would agree that our success as a group has not been the result of any one person's individual talent; but, rather, our ability to work as a team with a common passion. It was during my internship in my native country that I recognized my special commitment to cardiology. As I became more and more immersed in this field, the physiology and pathophysiology of the heart captivated my attention as an ensemble of especially challenging diagnostic problems, a tremendous opportunity to contribute to the preservation of human life.

Inspired by my curiosity and encouraged by my teachers, I came to the United States to further my clinical skills through formal training in medicine. I began working as a research associate in Echocardiography at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center where I learned a great deal about cardiac stress tests and different forms of imaging. I was fortunate enough to obtain my residency position at the same institution and have made great strides since then as I continue to expand my foundation for a career in cardiology.

As a hospitalist serving in a community hospital, I have achieved a 98% patient satisfaction rate in my current position with XXXX Hospital. My clinical skills and confidence have improved dramatically as I have gained experience caring for widely diverse patient populations in a variety of clinical settings, including general medical floors and the intensive care unit. In order to maintain my commitment to academics, I teach mid-level providers and medical students and this has worked wonders for my own professional growth. I also have assisted the medical director in establishing policies and the development of quality improvement initiatives. These initiatives have significantly reduced patient's length of stay in the hospital and increased patient satisfaction according to our surveys.

I feel that I was enormously privileged to have the opportunity to complete a fellowship at the University of XXXX (01/11 through 06/11) in the area of congestive heart failure and transplant. This experience helped me to better understand evidence based medicine and clinical decision-making. I have come to more fully appreciate the way that each patient is unique and, therefore, requires highly specialized, individual attention.

During my fellowship at U of W, I got a chance to learn from world renowned heart failure specialists and gained first-hand experience in right heart catheterization. I also developed a fuller understanding of the complex nature of hemodynamics in cardiac units, especially with and pre- and post- cardiac transplant patients. I was offered the opportunity to continue this fellowship but I was unable to do so since I had already made a commitment to my current position. My goal is to continue to develop expertise in cardiovascular medicine in a supportive, scholarly, and challenging environment. Clinical research (with a special focus on outcomes) in an academic setting is my central long term goal. I am committed to teaching and believe that an academic setting will help me continue to grow both professionally and personally. I am highly motivated, energetic, and knowledgeable in my field, and I am a hard worker who is thoroughly committed to a distinguished career in cardiovascular medicine.

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